Judge dismisses ag lawsuit over county planning

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CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — A southwestern Idaho judge has dismissed a lawsuit over the way Canyon County handles planning for agricultural land.

The Idaho Press-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1udrfYS) reports 3rd District Judge Molly Huskey found that the Coalition for Agriculture's Future failed to show it was injured by the county's actions.

The judge also said the group didn't have the standing to sue the county in the order issued Sept. 8.

The coalition sued Canyon County in August 2013, contending that the county failed to attach a future land use planning map and agriculture component to the 2020 Comprehensive Plan. The group said that showed the plan didn't comply with Idaho's Land Use Planning Act.

Canyon County adopted the 2020 Comprehensive Plan in 2011 with no challenges. The plan was amended a few months later to include an agricultural component and later in 2013 to include a future land map.

"In sum, the court cannot find any authority that would allow it, more than two years later, to set aside land use decisions that were not challenged through judicial review," Huskey wrote in the order.

Huskey added that the coalition's real concern seemed to be spot zoning because it reduced the isolation needed to grow seed crops and minimize cross-pollination. However, a specific zoning decision must be challenged in order for the court the review the validity of the county's comprehensive plan.

The coalition formed about five years ago after concerns grew that farmland was being lost to urban growth. Crookham Co. President George Crookham, who oversees a large treasure Valley seed company, heads the coalition.

Members include the Canyon County Farm Bureau, the Idaho Crop Improvement Association, .R. Simplot Co., Atlas Products, along with dairy, mint and seed industry associations.


Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, http://www.idahopress.com

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